Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Ring Reminder

Recently I lost one of my favorite rings.  My husband gave it to me for my birthday one year.

This ring has a tendency to slide off my finger easily when I'm doing housework.  Especially when I'm washing the floors on my hands and knees.  Something about the suds makes it slide right off.  (Or maybe it's trying to get out of cleaning!)

I looked through the house over and over to no avail.  I even emptied out the trash bag filled with gross paper towels, wet and dirty from cleaning usage and even unwrinkled them to look for the symbol of love.  Still no ring.

I finally gave up and prayed that God would help me find it.  I had done all I knew to do short of taking all the pipes apart to see if it went down the drain.

As days turned into weeks, my heart struggled to keep hoping.

Last week I was getting ready for bed when I dropped the stud of an ear ring on to the floor.  I got down on my hands and knees to look for the small piece of jewelry on the carpet.  When I still couldn't find it, I got down as low as I could and peeped under the dresser.  Sure enough - there was my ring.

How it ever ended up there is a mystery.  The fact that I don't always vacuum under the dresser every week is such a blessing at times like this for I surely would have vacuumed up the ring if I was an immaculate housekeeper.   (Don't even go there!)

It was a pleasant reminder when it comes to some other prayers I've been praying.  Lately I've been struggling with fear and anxiety over many things.  I know the Bible says not to worry or have any anxiety about ANYTHING, but to pray about everything WITH thanksgiving.  Knowing is always easier than doing.

I am tempted to try and solve my own problems, get a normal job to help fix all the things that have been breaking down around here, etc.   ie.  Just got word that our car will cost more to fix than what we paid for it.  But then I'm taking things into my own hands, just like the desperate searching the house for the ring.

It seems like when I finally just released it all to God and asked Him to show me where it was, He gently led me to it when I wasn't even looking for it.

My problems, worries and cares are no different.  I am learning to just release it ALL to Him and ask Him to lead me to the solutions instead of driving myself nuts with figuring out solutions on my own.

Yes, I'm glad I found the ring, but the truth is, the main reason is that it serves as a constant reminder to me that God will help me find all the solutions I need, as I trust Him to lead me.  Worry drives me, but God leads me.
I'd prefer to be led.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Walk With My Father

I've been pondering how much the Father loves us lately.......more so than usual.

I have this incredible hunger to experience His love in deeper ways as I find deep holes in my soul that can only be filled with His love.

I went for a walk recently and my sole purpose in going was to imagine myself walking with Him.  I'm trying to talk to Him more and more as if He were right here with me ALL the time.  (I know that He my head, but my heart has a hard time 'getting it'.)
To really grasp His love, I have been contemplating what it means to be child-like.  As a child, my most favorite thing to do with my father was simply just be with him, no matter what we were doing. 

My walk on this day was a tangible way for me to 'be' with my heavenly Father.

I couldn't help but record some of the scenes we saw.  I knew when I got back home I wanted to write a piano song to go with the pictures. 

I want to share this home-made video and piano song with you.  As you listen and observe, may you find peace and sense the Father drawing you to come and walk with Him too.

To view the video click here.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Talk to yourself - really!"

Have you ever called your phone and left a message for yourself?  (please say yes!  I'll feel better.)

I can't even remember why I did it, but one day I called my land line from my cell phone and gave myself a cheery "Hey you" message. 

Frankly, I don't remember why I did it or what all I said to myself.

But later, when I checked my messages, I was perplexed at the strange voice on the phone.  It seemed familiar, but whoever called didn't leave their name or number.  (the is one to return calls when you don't know who to call?). 

Then the light went on.  It was my own voice.  Silly me.  I had a good laugh.   (You might be of the artistic temperament if you find encouragement from your own phone messages.)

But it might not be that strange when you think about it.  The psalmist David talked to himself sometimes for encouragement.

Psalm 103:1-3  (A Psalm of David)

"Praise the Lord, I tell myself;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. 
Praise the Lord, I tell myself,
and never forget the good things he does for me. 
He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases." 

Perhaps if David lived today, he would use his cell phone to call his land line and leave himself a message.  Why not put technology to use in an encouraging way I say!

You see, there is something about being vocal about encouragement.  It's one thing to think to yourself that you should be encouraged but it takes it to a whole new level when you say it out loud, like David must have done.

We all know speaking an encouraging word to someone is much more effective thanthinking it.  I don't think it's much different when it comes to encouraging ourselves in the Lord either.

Try it.

Talk to yourself, out loud; encourage yourself to praise the Lord and remember that He is good!

Or leave yourself an encouraging message on your answering machine.  (You might want to make sure no one else is in the room when you check your messages though.) 

Nothing like hearing your own voice tell your own soul to be encouraged.  

P.S.  If you try this - let me know how it works for you!

Have a beautiful day.  You are loved by the Father of all creation!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Marriage Bouquet

A few weeks ago Tom (my husband) was taking a shower and I was in the kitchen doing dishes.  A typical scenario.

All of a sudden from out of the bathroom came this odd question.  "Is there a reason there are clothes in the toilet?"

How would you answer this question from your spouse?

A)  Yes, there is a reason, leave them alone please.
B)  I don't know, but I'm sure whoever put them there had a reason.
C)  No, there is NOT a reason.
D)  What do you mean there are clothes in the toilet?

I went for multiple choice answer D since I knew nothing about any clothes in the toilet.

Now I've been known to put mousse on my face instead of in my hair and get mighty close to putting something other than coffee grounds in the coffee pot, but I've yet to put clothes in the toilet.

I could have blamed it on the children, but we don't have any.  Just 2 cats.  I'd be impressed if they did it.

Now if you were me, wouldn't you assume that Tom did it since they were HIS clothes in the toilet?  (Turns out, he did put them in there thinking it was the hamper.  Did I mention we're still in our 40's).

Well, on September 2, we celebrated 21 years and we find more and more reasons to laugh at AND with each other.  We are about as opposite as you can get when it comes to our personalities.

It reminds me of my flowers growing around my yard.  Some are very small and dainty, others are big and bold.  But you put them together and they show each other off.

Same way in relationships.  It's our differences that make our uniqueness stand out.  It can also be a point of contention if we're not careful.  (Like the clothes in the toilet - I thought his question was worded a bit accusingly - as if he assumed I put them in there.  He claims he has no memory of putting any clothes in the toilet.

So take a look at the bouquet I gathered from my yard.  Yes, my husband is the bold orange, and# 1 I'm more like the delicate purple with all kinds of smaller intricacies, but together, we make up a beautiful marriage bouquet.

Just need to keep it well watered!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Wedding To Remember

It was scorching hot today.  An excessive heat warning was forecasted and for once, they hit the nail on the head.  It would have been appropriate to take beach towels to the wedding we attended today since the reception was held outside under a big white tent.  We could have absorbed a lot of sweat with those towels.

The ceremony took place in a comfortably cool sanctuary.  Thank God for whoever invented air conditioning.  (Now all we need is to figure out how to cool the outside air on a hot day).

I thought about taking kleenexes along just in case I might get teary, but decided not to today.

Ever since my dad died I get really weepy at weddings.  The father of the bride comes down the aisle with his daughter by his side and I loose it immediately.  It's one of those times where the water faucet is turned on and it's hard to stop the tears.  At least for me.   But since I only knew the groom, I figured I'd be safe.

Bad decision.  Note to self.  From now on, just take kleenexes along to EVERY wedding.

What I witnessed today was so beautiful I don't even know if I can describe it here, but I'll try.

It all started when I saw the face of the groom as his bride appeared in the doorway ready to come to his side.  It was obvious he was focused on one thing.  HER!  

I began to think about Jesus and how we are his bride.  I wondered if he looks at me with that kind of longing, so anxious to see me coming down the aisle into his arms after a life-time here on earth.

Then there was the way he committed himself to her as he read the vows he had obviously poured over long before he spoke them out loud.  The tears ran down his face and his voice cracked through most of the promises and I couldn't stop my own tears.

Surely Jesus must have had (and still has) the same emotions for us as he committed his love and life to us long ago.  He must be so anxious for the wedding day to come when we will finally be united with him and sit down together for our marriage feast and celebration.

Any of us that have been married any length of time know that sometimes in marriage we hit bumps in the road and the glory of the wedding day when we meant every word we said in our vows is long gone.  We struggle to love each other that deeply day in and day out.  Life gets busy and hard.

Tom and I will soon celebrate 21 years of marriage.  It hasn't always been easy, but I must say that my love for him is so much deeper than before.  We've weathered so much together.  We've had the comfortable cool of the beautiful air conditioned sanctuary with beautiful flowers filling the room.  We've also experienced the grilling hot temperatures of the outside tent when things weren't so cool and wonderful.  That's what 'weathering life' together is all about.

I guess that's how my walk with Jesus is too.  There are great days and not so great days, but every now and then it's nice to take an afternoon, go to a wedding and be reminded that I have a bridge-groom waiting for me at the end of life's aisle.  I want to keep my eyes focused on him as much as he must have his eyes focused on me as I make my way toward him.

Thanks Sam and Alecia for the beautiful reminder of Jesus' love for me.  It was certainly a wedding to remember.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Who Do You Think You Are" 6.29.10

Have you ever stepped out in faith regarding something you felt strongly about only to find a haunting question plaguing you every step of the way?   "Who do you think you are?"  

I think David must have heard that attitude when he stepped out to face Goliath.  They questioned his motives, his age and his ability.

What if we turn that question around to our nagging doubts....."Who do YOU think YOU are?

Listen to the song "Who Do You Think You Are" here.

Monday, June 28, 2010

"Destined For More" 6.28.10

If you're like me, you often get the feeling that you were destined for more than what you are experiencing.

I think it's the kind of feeling that actually keeps us going at times.  A certain restlessness that occurs right before we embark on a new opportunity.

I think perhaps we came built this way.  Always hungering for more.  That can be a downer if it comes to material things, but not when it comes to God and pursuing His Kingdom!  Hunger keeps us searching for Him in deeper ways.

Certainly King David felt that same sense of destiny in his heart.  It must have gripped him when he heard Goliath defy the name of the Lord and frighten the army of Israel.  They were stricken with fear!!!  He didn't like to see God's people feeling that way I bet.

David must have found the courage to fight Goliath because of the hope he had on the inside of him.  He believed God had plans for His own children I bet.

Today's song is an attempt to express my thoughts about David from yet another angle.  I believe we all carry this same sense that we too were destined for more.

Listen to the new song "Destined" here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Love of the deepest kind 6.15.10

I'm still impressed as I read through the story of David and Goliath, but for a new reason this time around.

David killed the lion and the bear to protect the sheep of the pasture he had been given charge of.  It could not have been for selfish reasons.  It was just part of his job and he was good at it.  I think he must have loved protecting his sheep.

When he heard Goliath ranting and raving his threats, David must have viewed this as a threat to the sheep of God's pasture, his people, Israel.

I had to think about my own music ministry and life in general.  Why do I want to accomplish all that I do?  Is it more for my own gain or is it really about the people of God and protecting the body of Christ from all forms of threats from the enemy?  Am I as selfless as David?  

Surely this story is a picture of love of the deepest kind.  It's also a picture of Jesus!

Listen to the song to go with this blog under "devotional notes" for 6.15.10 here.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Simplicity 6.9.10

God's been speaking one word to me in relation to the whole story of David and Goliath.  "Simplicity".  I've been meditating on that word for a couple of weeks.

As I research a shepherd's life in those days, I find that at first glance you'd think it was a simple life.  No home to keep up, just pick up and move to the next green pasture.  But when you start to realize all that went into shepherding, it wasn't that easy.  You had to help the new lambs, protect from danger, look ahead to where the next green pasture was and lead them all there.

But simplicity could have come in the sense that David used whatever resources he had with him.  The staff and the sling and stone.  The staff could lead and also keep prey away.  The sling and stone could do deadly damage to enemies of the sheep.

I think David must have had 2 main focus points in his life:  1) his sheep and 2) his music.  I don't know how much spare time he would have had out there in the fields, but we know he was a great musician, so he must have made time to practice while he was out there.

So I contemplate simplicity and how it applies to me.  You can hear more about that in the audio version of this blog and listen to a piano song that is simply - simple.

Listen here to the song "Simplicity".

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

God is God 6.8.10

Goliath had a pretty sophisticated armor to wear.  I Sam. 17:4-7 lists all that he wore, plus he had someone who carried a shield out in from of him.  Can you imagine the size of shield a 9' man would need?

As I pondered the detail of the armor, I realized that our enemy today is no different.  Eph. 6:11 says "Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil."  (NLT).  

I wanted to write something that captures the complication of what the devil plans, but I also wanted something that teaches us and reminds us that God is ALWAYS bigger than anything the devil comes up with.  

Listen to "God is God" here.

It's His Battle 6.7.10

Last week I took the week off from the studio and did some much needed spring cleaning.  I washed down all the outside window and door frames, washed all the windows inside and out, plus rearranged our bedroom and did some organizing to make life a bit more manageable.  Of course we got unusual thunderstorms and the rain came down in sheets and left nice water spots on my clean windows.

Though I shut down the studio and didn't do any devotional notes, I was still meditating on David and Saul all last week.  It was good to do something other than music for a change and gave me lots of time to think and listen for God's voice in a more focused way.

This morning I constructed a song to go with the passage I've been resting in for weeks now:  I Sam. 17:45-47.  Though I think I wrote a song out of this section earlier, I have a new one.  Just goes to show that we can spend days in one passage and get many different things out of it.

David saw that Goliath put his faith in his weapons and David didn't threaten Goliath back with his own natural weapons of a sling and stone.  He simply declared the power of the name of the Lord and the futility of weapons.  Saul should have been the one killing Goliath, but he was afraid.  A lot of good his weapons did him.  But it's not about our weapons. It's about our faith in God's ability!

I don't know what kind of battle you might be facing today, but be encouraged - if this is a battle that the enemy has brought your way, you need to attack him with God's weapons - not your own understanding! 

Hope this song brings you some encouragement:

It's His battle, It's His victory
It's His battle, It's His victory

The enemy comes with his spear and sword
But I'm coming out in the name of the Lord

It's His battle, It's His victory
It's His battle, It's His victory

No weapon formed against me can stand
No one can take me from my Father's hand

It's His battle, It's His victory
It's His battle, It's His victory

He doesn't need any fancy plans
He just wants an obedient lamb

It's His battle, It's His victory
It's His battle, It's His victory

Listen to "It's His Battle" here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

God is Big In The Little Things 5.25.10

I Sam. 17:37 - "The Lord who saved me from the claws of the lion and the bear will save me from this Philistine!"

The Lord who is mighty with the lion
is mighty when it comes to the giant
The Lord who is mighty with the bear
is mighty when I call on him anywhere
When I've proved him in the little things
I'll have faith when it comes to the giant schemes

My God is big in the little things
My God is big in everything that I need
So don't forget when you see his hand
that God is with you no matter when.

The Lord who is mighty with the bag of stones
is mighty no matter what the enemy throws
The Lord who is mighty in the meadow
is mighty in the darkness of the shadows
When I've proved him in the little things
I'll have faith when it comes to the giant schemes

My God is big in the little things
My God is big in everything that I need
So don't forget when you see his hand
that he'll be with no matter when.

Not much more to say than this.  If we prove God in the small areas of our lives, we are building muscles for the big things.

Listen to "God is With You" here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I wasn't going to write a song today.  I read Proverbs, meditated on I Samuel 17 again with the story of David and Saul, but I didn't sense any kind of song.

Somedays I just need to have it be just me and God if you know what I mean.  Sometimes I can feel the self-imposed pressure to get a song out of my devotions so you will hear it and enjoy it.  Today I fought that feeling (like I do other days) and felt victorious to spend time with God without having a song.

I know - I'm complicated.  Just letting you see inside me.

I started to go about my day and a song began to come to me, however.  Though I have flower beds to tend, a song of love to write, a concert to rehearse for, etc.  I knew if I'd sit down and begin playing the song, more would come - it usually does.

So here it is - my thoughts about the kind of guy David must have been since God chose him to be king.

Faithful to the sheep
faithful to the palace
faithful to the king
not a trace of malice

This is the heart of a worshipper
This is the heart of a follower
To love the Lord in all your ways
to seek His Kingdom every day.

Faithful to his friends
Faithful in the battle
Faithful in his trust
nothing could dismantle

This is the heart of a worshipper
This is the heart of a follower
To love the Lord in all your ways
to seek His Kingdom every day.

Faithful in his heart
Faithful in his music
Faithful when he sinned
not afraid to say it

This is the heart of a worshipper
This is the heart of a follower
To love the Lord in all your ways
to seek His Kingdom every day.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Name of the Lord 5.18.10

"The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe."  Prov. 18:10

This is the verse that stuck out to me today in my reading.  I've contemplated the name of Jesus quite frequently.  The scripture has so much to say about the name of Jesus.  I know there is much more available to me just in that name alone.

I also turned to I Samuel 17 again to continue focusing on what God has been trying to say to me through the story of Saul, David and Goliath.  Last week I felt as if He was speaking to me about trying to put on 'Saul's armor' in my own life.  I've been trying to discern what He's saying to me through that.

David said 2 things in this passage that spoke to me this morning:

1) "David shouted in reply, "You come to me with sword, spear and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord Almighty - the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied."  I Sam. 17:45

2)  "Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head....and everyone will know that the Lord does not need weapons to rescue his people.  It is his battle, not ours."  I Sam. 17:47

Once again, there is the pattern of the power of the name of Jesus.  David had full confidence in the name of His God.  David had proven God's dependability in the small things.

I want to have that kind of confidence in the name of Jesus - starting with the small things.
Listen to "The Name of The Lord" here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

What are you afraid of?

I just got back last night from visiting 4 radio stations in Ohio.  Visiting stations helps to build relationships between the artist and the radio programmers.

I love doing that and was sad to see it come to an end for this trip.

I had plenty of down time as I covered over 1,000 miles.  Normally I listen to music, podcasts, stories, radio, etc., but for the most part I craved quiet time, so I turned it all off for a good portion of the trip.

In those quiet moments I think I heard my Abba Father speak to me.  My next few blogs might focus on fleshing that out as I share what I think He said.

It seemed quite simple at the time, but I think it's a nugget that I must begin to pray over and search out.

King Saul wanted David to wear his armor when David went out to fight Goliath.  David tried it on, but it didn't fit right.  He was used to facing enemies and saw Goliath to be no different than the bear and the lion.

Sure - no problem - just walk right up to that bear and lion and snatch the little lamb from its jaws - no big deal!  I wish!  But David must have spent lots of time out in the fields alone with his God and his sheep.

Taking a little lamb from the jaws of a lion was no problem for him.  He had seen God work many times in the 'little' things (if you can call a lion little).  I'd prefer to start with taking a cricket from the jaws of my house cat.

All he had to do was apply the principles he learned in the field to the battle facing him now.  King Saul didn't see it that way.  But David stood his ground and said let me do this the way I've always done things before.

The Spirit of God began to speak to me about wearing someone else's armor.  Uh oh.

I'm not even sure what all this means yet, but I know this - I want to search out why Saul couldn't kill Goliath (technically he should have) and why David was so confident to fight Goliath with just a staff and a sling.

The first clue I've discovered this morning is that Saul seemed prone to fear of man and David was not. But that's another blog.

"What are you afraid of, who is holding you back?
Who are you trying to be like, do you wanna live like that?
Listen to the Spirit, listen to Him calling your name
He will bring direction, there's no need to strain

Put away their pressure, put away their armor
Do what He made you to do,
Rise up
and be the way He made you to be!"

Listen to the song "What Are You Afraid Of" here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Pruning 5/5/10

This morning I pruned about 4 of my 8 lilac bushes.  I LOVE lilacs and try hard to take good care of my bushes.

My mother recently bought me another one for my collection for my birthday and they gave us a paper on how to take care of your lilacs.  I've already been practicing some of their suggestions, but was glad for the detailed information.

"Deadhead (remove spent flowers) each year immediately after the bloom period.  If spent blossoms are not removed, flowering will be severely stunted the following year, for the lilac will expend energy into seed production at the expense of next season's flower buds."  Courtesy of Ashcombe's instructions.

As I was trimming off the dead blossoms, I was struck with wonder to think that I am doing something that will affect next year's growth when we've only begun to enter Spring for this year.

I sat down at the piano just a little bit ago and decided to play what I felt a lilac bush must experience during this process.  It starts with clip, clip, clip - but slowly, new growth will return in even more beautiful array than this year.

Do you feel as if you're just getting into the blossom stage of life and then you get clipped back?  Take courage my fragrant-minded friend!  God is always thinking ahead - in fact, the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world.  Guess He was already thinking about next year's growth.

Listen to "The Pruning" here

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bird Song 5/3/10

I was away for 3 days leading worship at a camp with about 70 women.  It was an awesome weekend!  The women were easy to lead in worship and that always makes it a great experience for me.

We were located on a beautiful campground and so Sunday morning I got up early and went for a walk in the woods.  I heard one loud squirrel who seemed quite upset by my presence there and saw two beautiful deer jumping gracefully through the forest.  Funny how they didn't make a sound.  I only saw them because I noticed their bright white tails ahead of me.  I watched them move majestically away from me.

I had to chuckle to myself at the stark difference between the loud scolding squirrel and the serenely quiet deer.

I took my walk this morning. I walk faster when I listen to upbeat music, but since I walk by a stream on part of my walk, I just had to shut off the music and listen to the birds.  They fill my soul!

Today I tried something different for my devotional notes.  Decided to just sit at the piano, hit record and see what would come - though I definitely wanted to give the feel of the birds singing to each other.

Enjoy! Listen here.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Every Word of God Is True

Good morning!

Prov. 30:5 really stuck out to me this morning as I was reading.  "Every Word of God proves true.  He defends all who come to him for protection."   

We cannot base our faith on our experiences, as powerful as they may be.  That sometimes has been my problem I think.  When I have wonderful experiences, my faith is strong and I can conquer anything, but when my prayers seem unanswered and even unheard, I am not very strong. 

That's why our faith must be based on the Word of God - not our experiences.  His Word is true and it will not return void but it will accomplish what he sends it out to do.  We MUST believe and live a life of faith based only on His word.

Take a listen to the song based on this scripture for my devotional notes today.

Listen to "Every Word Of God Is True"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Planning my own birthday party

Just getting back this morning to working on 'devotional notes' this week.  I had a different kind of a week.

My birthday was on Monday, April 26th and I tried something different for once.  I planned my own birthday party.  Yes, I really did!  It all started because I've been dreading aging since I turned 40 and I used to really anticipate my birthdays.  I decided to try planning something I'd really look forward to and it worked!  I had such a wonderful time and barely even noticed that I turned a year older.

It felt really awkward at first and somedays I found myself saying "what on earth have I done".   Other days I was excited about getting together with the friends I invited.

As the day grew closer, I was pretty much excited and less nervous.  My sister came down just for my birthday party (from Canada) and it turned out to be an incredible experience in so many ways.  Maybe I'll try having another party next year and invite ALL my friends.....I'd have to start saving now though.

This morning I decided to do something I know as opposed to writing something fresh.  Sometimes we need that in our devotions.  Start with something known and venture out into something unknown.

I think you'll recognize this tune - enjoy!

Listen to "Praise To The Lord"

Friday, April 23, 2010

Watch Out For The Snake

Well this was an interesting one.  I did read Proverbs 23 today for my devotions, but had to run and pick up my 87 year old mother to go clothes shopping.  We weren't successful because there were no clothes for sale where she thought they were supposed to be, but we had a nice day together.

I came back home and decided to see if I could write something this afternoon based on what I read this morning.  Sure enough, when I had been reading this morning, I could tell there might be a song there about food....with a deeper meaning of course.

Low and behold, a song has come forth.

Have fun and watch out for the snake!

Listen here: Watch Out For The Snake

Thursday, April 22, 2010

More to life than silver and gold

I'm on my 3rd morning of sharing 'devotional notes'.

Every morning I've been writing a song to captivate the phrases I feel the Lord speaking to me from the scripture, or whatever He chooses to use.

I am thinking of it as a way to be 'unhindered' and 'unleashed'.

As a songwriter, it's so easy to get caught up in honing, rhyming, syllablizing (I know - that's probably not a word) and wondering if it could be a hit or not.  Just being honest.  And if I want to make a living doing this, I should think about those things I guess.

But I'm wanting to get back to just singing to the Lord without any of these hindrances.  Don't get me wrong, they still creep around the corners of my mind, but I must press on and put aside any hindrance!

So here's the one for today: (based on Prov. 22:1,2,4,9, 17-18)

There's more to life than silver and gold
The rich and poor, God made them both
True humility and fear of the Lord
Lead to riches, honor and more

     Listen to the words of the wise
     Apply your heart to the truth
     Keep it inside of your heart
     Keep it on the edge of your lips

There's more to life than silver and gold
The rich and poor, God made them both
Being held in high esteem
Gets you more than money could bring

There's more to life than silver and gold
The rich and poor, God made them both
Blessed are those who give away
Give to the poor it's the Kingdom way.

Listen to it here:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tap, Tap, Tap

I try to read a chapter from Proverbs every day.  I've done that for years because I find myself always in need of wisdom.

Today I read from Proverbs 20 (it's the 20th of April) and I came upon one of my favorite verses.

Proverbs 20:5 says "though good advice lies deep within the heart, a person with understanding will draw it out."

That tells me that deep within my heart wisdom sits, waiting to be drawn upon.  As I allow the Holy Spirit to fill me, He gives me an overflowing supply ready for me to tap into.

I began to play a pattern on the piano and sensed the 'tap tap tap' coming up from within.  As I focus on the words I hear, I find a haunting melody comes forth.

Maybe you will enjoy it too.  Remember, take time to tap into the well you have within you. Take a listen here ("Tap, Tap, Tap")

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The cup or the coffee?

Last night my husband served us our snack.  How nice!

Only one problem.  He didn't bring me my drink in one of my favorite mugs.  He brought the old chipped one that I keep for him to use out in his welding shop where it can get beaten, bruised, greased and chipped and it doesn't matter.

I have a few of my favorites and I was quite disappointed when he didn't bring one of those.  I bit my tongue.  I did't want to dampen his servant heart.  It's what's in the cup that matters anyway isn't it?

I have a bright flowered mug that is ugly, but I love it because it represents an argument I had with a friend when she wanted to 'buy' my CDs and I wanted to 'give' them to her.  So she went and bought a mug of flowers for me instead.

I have another favorite that is bright red and has a cat on it.  My sister gave me that one.  Say no more.

The next one has two pigs on it and is a gift I bought for my husband because he was a pig farmer and loves baby pigs.

Then there's the great big one for the really tough days.  It was a Christmas gift from a friend, complete with cocoa mix to go with it.  It has frosty the snowman on it and works in all seasons.

I partook of my cup that he gave me without complaining.  Even though there's a chip in it, irremovable grease stains on the bottom (from the shop) and a big ugly blue logo that says Discmakers on the outside. Reminds me of the company I used to use to manufacture my CDs.  It reminds me of work.  I want to rest while I sip my drink not think about work.

I knew I could pour a meaningful application out of this if I just brewed on it long enough.

Sure enough - "man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart."  Too often I've been turned off by someone just because of how they looked.  I totally missed the inside of them and misjudged them by their cover or 'cup' in this case.

Sorry Lord.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Crud on our spoons

I just finished washing dishes.  If I had a dollar for every time I wash dishes, I would be pretty well off I think.  I don't have an automatic dishwasher, so it's up to me if I want clean dishes.  And believe me, I do want clean dishes!

I'm the kind who tries to wash up everything as I go when I'm cooking.  I don't like dirty dishes to sit real long.  They are obnoxious to clean!  Our food can be on the table, ready to eat, and I'm still washing up the last of the pots and pans.  I think I've become a bit over-the-top obsessed with this practice.

I had a spiritual moment this morning while I was trying to clean a spoon that had baked beans from overnight.....(crock-pot spoon - used to stir the baked beans occasionally).  I tried to clean it, but the beans just wouldn't be removed.  Time to soak.

Soaking is the best thing for hard to clean foods, like oatmeal, eggs, over-baked casseroles and baked bean spoons.

Ah yes.  Came right off after it had soaked a while.  I began to think.

I have some areas in my life that are getting a bit dried up these days.  I can feel it.  I've been here before.  It's time for some soaking.  Extra time praying, meditating in the Word, worshipping God for who He is, setting my mind on things above.  Eventually that dried up state is going to have to slip away from the washing of the Spirit.  It can't possibly stay as the soap-suds of the Word clean my heart.

I just came back from CA and the California Women's Retreat.  Dr. RoseAnne Coleman and Margaret Feinberg were the main speakers.  Though I led the worship and did a concert I got to do some soaking of my own as these two amazing women spoke.

It rained the first 2 days I was there.  Kind of a disappointment.  I wanted to see sunny CA!  It never occurred to me until this morning (one week later) as I was washing dishes, that maybe the rain was symbolic of the 'soaking' we needed at this conference.

I think we often go to these kinds of things with lots of crud on our spoons.  The only way to remove it is to soak in God's presence, which can easily be done at get-away weekends such as this one.  Maybe the rain wasn't such a bad thing after all.

When I left the CA soil in my "Alaskan Airliner", the sun was bright.  The flowers were blooming and all was well.  Maybe for some, as they left the retreat, their flowers were blooming again and their spoons were cleansed from the soaking rain of God's love.

Maybe rain wasn't such a bad thing after all.  Soaking rain.

(picture) Dr. RoseAnne Coleman and myself.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What is a Podcast?

"The podcasting movement is actually a spin-off of another communications boom: personal Weblogs, commonly referred to as blogs."

Podcasting allows you to listen to stuff you want to hear, whenever and wherever you want.  Podcasts are transferred via the internet.  In their most simple form, they are a 'radio show' that is available whenever you choose to listen.

To listen to one, you need:
  1. A computer
  2. A power supply
  3. An Internet connection
  4. An aggregator/podcatching client to subscribe and automatically download the audio content. (such as iTunes).
  5. An mp3 player on the computer for listening at home or a portable MP3 player for the road.
There are 2 ways to listen to my podcast, "Inside Things":

1)  Just click the play button in the media player at the top of this blog to listen.
2) Subscribe to it from iTunes by going to the iTunes store and typing in my name "Frances Drost" in the search box.  Listed under my albums will be the podcast.  If you subscribe through iTunes, you can store the episodes in an iTunes playlist under "podcasts"and listen to it whenever you choose.  

There are many educational and just plain interesting podcasts out there, so take a look around what's available under the podcast menu in iTunes.  

While you're there, please rate my podcast and write a review - this helps to give my podcast more exposure.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tips for Wisdom from Proverbs 2:1-12

In my never ending quest for wisdom I soak up these tips from Proverbs 2.

1)  tune your ears to wisdom
2)  concentrate on understanding
3)  cry out for insight
4)  cry out for understanding
5)  search for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure

  • you will understand what it means to fear the Lord
  • you will gain knowledge of God
How do you get wisdom?

1) (He gives it) The Lord grants wisdom
2) (Read the Word) From his mouth come knowledge and understanding
3) (He grants it) He grants a treasure of good sense to the godly 
4) (Walk with integrity) He is their shield, protecting those who walk with integrity
5) (Walk justly and faithfully) He guards the paths of justice and 
protects those who are faithful to Him. 

  • you will understand what is right, just and fair
  • you will know how to find the right course of action every time
  • wisdom will enter your heart
  • knowledge will fill you with joy
  • wise planning will watch over you
  • understanding will keep you safe

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What Would You Do?

I was only 7 when we got word from our Pastor that my
oldest brother was killed in a tractor accident on a farm hours
north of our farm.  They didn't know exactly what happened,
but found him pinned underneath the tractor and wagon at the
bottom of a cliff in a riverbed.  He had been unloading
rocks over the cliff.

Something must have gone wrong.

Our family took a small airplane to Northern PA for the funeral,
navigated by my other brother, Adriel.  I faintly remember that trip.

In a few weeks I'll be providing music for 2 sweetheart banquets
about 3 hours from where I live....and yep, you guessed it, I'll be near
that farm where my brother died.

I had an interesting e-mail today in relation to these bookings.
Apparently the secretary of one of the churches lives on the farm
where my brother was killed years ago.

She has extended an invitation to come and see the farm
and see where the accident happened while I'm there ministering
in the area.

I answered her fairly quickly because of course I'd like to see the farm!

Or do I?

I find that as the day goes on I feel nervous about visiting the site.
After all, I was just a little girl and that was such a long time ago,
yet the loss of a loved one never really leaves you.

You feel their absence at family get togethers.  Your heart flutters
with delight when you meet someone who knew them and tells you
more about them that you didn't know.  They are always with you.

You look at their grandchildren and wonder if they look like their grandpa
did at that age.

I am excited and nervous about this.  I'm afraid of my emotions.
Maybe I'll be fine.  Maybe I'll want to cry and be alone.  Maybe I'll learn
more that will give hope and courage in the face of tragedies like the one
right now in Haiti.

I don't handle tragedies very well to be honest.  Maybe that's why I write
a lot of songs about death.  Never realized I wrote so many until my
producer listened to all I was writing when we began working on
"Inside Things"and pointed this out to me.  I guess it helps me process it.

If you had this opportunity, what would you do?  Would you
visit the scene of the accident of a deceased loved one?

Meet Tia.
My brother's oldest grandaughter.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Fasting is Like Buttoning Your Top Button First"

This past weekend our Pastor challenged us to 10 days of fasting.  My husband and I decided to take the challenge.  What better way to start off a new year.  I found the message to be so helpful and thought I'd share his points on my blog.

Fasting in a nutshell is refraining from eating food for the purpose of spiritual growth and sensitivity.

Why fast?
1)  To declare over our life and body that we are going to do more than merely exist.
2)  Because we want to hear God.
3)  Because we long for breakthrough in our lives.

Ways to fast:
1)  No water, no food - this is a supernatural ability and should only be done with strong leading from God and approval of doctors.
2)  Water only
3)  No food; minimal liquid supplement
4)  Daniel fast (Daniel 1) - no meats or sweets - only vegetables, fruit and water
5)  Omit meals

Results of fasting:
1)  Deeper, more intimate and powerful relationship with the Lord.
2)  Powerful cleansing work

  • body - removes toxins
  • mind - removes distractions
  • spirit - removes strongholds
3)  Humbles us - softens us, makes us pliable and flexible
4)  Releases faith
5)  Increases wisdom
6)  Powerful and lasting breakthroughs

"We were created to be led, not driven"

"Fasting is like buttoning your shirt starting with the top button first.  Somehow the Lord lines up the rest of the buttons in our life and makes sure they get buttoned."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Love Wisdom Like A Sister

I've been trying to read a chapter from proverbs just about every day for years now.  I crave wisdom in such a huge way.

Being a full-time musician has its challenges in ways you might not normally think of.  There's always the thin line of letting people know what you're doing and feeling like you're doing too much 'self-promotion'.  No one in your life can really tell you where that line is.  The Holy Spirit has to guide you and even then, it can feel tricky to discern His voice.

Today I read Proverbs 7 and was struck again by a simple piece of advice.

"Love wisdom like a sister; make insight a beloved member of your family."  Prov. 7:4

I have one older sister whom I dearly love.  We have been friends since I was little.  We shared a bedroom in our big old farm house growing up and I think I caused her distress sometimes because I wasn't too great at keeping our bedroom real neat.

She was real good at saving money and the family used talk about going to 'the bank of Brenda' because if anyone in the family had money - she did.  Even if it was just the little 'see me save' bank in which she collected her money.

She was also a good seamstress and I remember one Easter in particular when she made me the most beautiful long dress I had ever seen.  It was brightly flowered and had a beautiful green ribbon around the waist.  As I recall, she stayed up a good portion of the night to finish that in time for Easter morning.

We would make music together too.  She would play the flute and later the recorder and we would do classical music duets together or sing our favorites from the Honeytree songbook.

When Proverbs says to love wisdom like a sister, I get that kind of relationship.  The hard part is figuring out how to really love something that you can't wisdom.  But I think it is a gradual quiet kind of attachment, just as it was growing up with my sister.  We spent time together.  We did things together.  Even now we e-mail, call on the phone and try to have 'sister time' when we do get together as a family...even if it's just a walk around the block.

So loving wisdom must be like that.  When I read Proverbs, I'm loving wisdom.  When I pray about decisions and ponder what the Holy Spirit might be saying to me, I'm loving wisdom.  When I make choices based on the inner guidance I sense, I'm loving wisdom.

When I fight the feelings I have inside and don't want to follow through, I'm pulling myself away from that 'sister' relationship and letting something come in between.  When I feel too busy to read and meditate on the Scriptures and let the busyness win,  I'm shutting out that 'family' member.

I want to include wisdom in everything I do so that wisdom is a part of my 'family'.  It's easy to love my sister because she's a part of me and has been a long time.

It must be like that with wisdom.  The more time I give to it and the longer I know it, the more I will make it a part of me and my family.